Runner- Robert Newton
Contention: To what extent does Charlie grow throughout the novel? Runner, by Robert Newton is the telling of a gusty young boy named Charlie Feehan, set in the Slums of the Richmond streets, in 1919. Many events and decisions occur throughout the novel that causes Charlie to grow up a little too fast. . In other words, Charlie grows and changes throughout the novel in many different ways, especially from start to finish. Charlie started off as a confused boy living in poverty. After Charlie’s fathers passing he was unsure about his role as man of the house. With his mother slowly withering away, and his brother only a baby, he felt he had to take all the responsibility, in order for his family to survive. “…so confused sometimes (he) didn’t know who it was (he) was supposed to be.” He was still at the grieving stage from his father’s passing, and was forced with the expectation of filling his father’s shoes. “Wearing them was easy’ but ‘filling them was a different story altogether.” Throughout this novel, Charlie’s father’s boots are used as a metaphor to link Charlie to his father. “He had given me the boots as I sat for the last time on his bed and listened to the wheeze and crackle in his chest.” Charlie escapes and numbs his pain by running; this is how he later gets involved with Squizzy Taylor. “When I felt the cold dull ache in my bones, I headed out into the dark damp streets of Richmond, and... I ran’. Charlie is doing anything he can to survive at the moment. Survival is the main theme throughout the book. Charlie knew that it was getting to the point where he and his family would be unable to cope. “No. We can’t keep scroungin’ off the neighbours, Charlie. It ain’t right.” For these reasons it is obvious that it would be scarce to find happiness living within people so poor. ‘True, (he) lived in a city that was home to every imaginable evil, but for (Charlie), there was always something else. For (him) there was hope.” As...
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